Monthly Archives: December 2016

Glorious Sunrise

It’s going to be another gorgeous day today, and I am sitting here in anticipation of the sunrise, waiting for the first golden rays that will turn the black sky into a shimmery display of rose and purple and blue. This is my favorite time of the day for it seems the entire world is asleep except me and the Holy Spirit and we get to watch the day start together. What a treat!

Just one short year ago I would not be sitting here waiting for the sunrise. If I happened to be awake I might have glanced out the window but it would not have had any meaning for me other than to herald another bleak day. Just a year! I am so amazed and so grateful.

The healing process has been astonishing – sometimes unbelievable. If I hadn’t lived it out myself I might question the depth of the illness and the level of restoration. But I did live it and I know it is true. I was the zombie brought back to life. I was the victim healed of all of her hurts. I was the survivor turned into victor — resurrected from a death-like state to abundant life. Taken from the depths of PTSD and a fugue state to health. What a mighty God we serve!

The walk has not been easy – at least it wasn’t as I was going through. The resurrecting of long-buried memories which were apparently the cause or start of my illnesses, was difficult and took every ounce of strength and courage I could muster. But it was incredible – each time the Holy Spirit brought a memory to surface He would stay with me as I relived it and then He brought healing and forgiveness for each one. The process never took more than a day, but the recovery time afterward could last up to a week. It was like undergoing surgery and then having to recover – except there are no scars remaining after the surgery of the Holy Spirit – every single thing is healed.

I volunteered for this process. I was sick and tired of being sick and I cried out for healing. With each instance I was given the opportunity to either stay where I was or go forward – I could choose to let a memory stay buried or I could choose to expose it and work through the healing process. I chose healing every single time. No, it wasn’t easy and yes, it was worth it!! I received not only mental and emotional healing but physical healing as well. A year ago I felt my age. Today I feel half my age! I am alert and active and so excited to be alive – the transformation is nothing short of miraculous.

I learned many lessons this past year. I learned that making time for me was critical to mental health. I learned that some people are toxic for me and I have to stay away from them as much as possible. I learned that there are people in the world that have an amazing capacity for love and compassion and are willing to stand with me in my time of need. I discovered new friends as I released old relationships to die the death they should have died years ago. I found a wonderful boldness within that allows me to stand up against injustice and abuse wherever I encounter it. I found that taking time to create something beautiful with my hands also created something beautiful in my soul.

The greatest gift I received this year is a new intimacy with the Father and a depth of understanding of His heart for His children. He wants us all healed but He isn’t going to force anyone into the process. It is arduous and painful and if we prefer to leave the past buried then He will leave it there, too. I discovered, though, that the past – even when it is buried beyond our conscious memory – directs our steps into today and the future. If we don’t deal with the past we are destined to relive it over and over again. For me, that was no longer an option. I cried out for healing and freedom and then I cooperated with the Holy Spirit to attain each. So incredible.

As I write this today I feel and know I am completely whole. There are no other memories buried – everything has been exposed to the Light and the Light has performed a marvelous work in me. Having completed that part of the work I am seeking my next assignment and waiting on the Lord.

What a glorious sunrise!!

Live Like A Child

I was out grocery shopping this morning and entertaining myself by watching the people around me. One little fellow caught my eye and I couldn’t help but smile at him while at the same time feeling just a wee bit sorry for him. He couldn’t have been more than two years old. His Mommy had him by the hand and kept telling him to ‘Come on’ and ‘Hurry Up’. He was going as fast as his tiny little legs would carry him but he kept getting distracted by all of the activity and bright packages around him. He was absolutely precious and I’m sure if he had been given the time he would have dismantled the end-cap displays around him! His Mommy was trying so hard to be patient and it was obvious she has a full day ahead of her and didn’t have time to dawdle in the grocery store.

I remember my own children at that age and I was much like the mother I saw today. I worked full-time plus kept my own house and did all of my own cooking – fast food was only for very special occasions. It was only on a Sunday afternoon that I would have time to slow down enough to take slow walks around the block or trips to the museums and allow them to explore and just be little kids. Our quality time was limited but I remember how joyous it was to walk hand-in-hand with my small child, their tiny fingers clutching mine while their other hand reached out to touch whatever was close at hand, grasping leaves or dirt or ants or worms or bumblebees. I doubt they even remember those moments but they are etched in my mind – tiny slivers of time when my children looked at the world in wonder while holding onto me for safety.

It is impossible to walk like that with a small child and not see the world through their eyes. When we take the time to slow down and let them set the pace we rediscover a world we left behind in our childhood.

I am making a concerted effort to walk with the Father like a little child holding her Daddy’s hand. As I slow down and reach out to explore the lives around me I am discovering a wonder and awe in His creation that I haven’t noticed in many, many years. I have found such peace in watching a mother bird feed her young and sweet joy playing on the playground with little children. I have seen first hand how a kind word softly spoken can turn the most disgruntled cashier into a smiling friend.

When I take time to notice the people and the world around me I make some amazing discoveries about myself. What I have planned to do with my day is not nearly so important as the saunter through Abba’s day. When my pace slows (or speeds up!) to match the pace of the Father I find divine appointments all around me – appointments with people to encourage them or to be encouraged, and appointments with nature to gaze in speechless awe at the wondrous treat Abba has placed before me.

I have always believed in stopping to smell the roses. Today I encourage each of you to stop and take notice of what is happening around you, right in your own backyard. Surely God has set in place a symphony that you don’t want to miss!

Holiday MAD-ness

The holiday season is here and the madness has begun.

All around town Christmas decorations are going up and the bleak winter landscape has taken on a festive air. Some shoppers are already in the spirit of the events and are happily purchasing their gifts while exuding joy and contentment.

Other shoppers, not so much so. They are already grumpy and complaining about long lines, inadequate store staffing, and overpriced poorly made merchandise.

Add to all of that the crazies that have taken over the highways and, yes, it is madness indeed.

The stress of the season has already begun to take its toll on unsuspecting and absent-minded people. I call them absent-minded because they have forgotten what it is all about – what this season heralds and why we celebrate with such joy and enthusiasm. We give too much, we eat too much, we laugh too loudly, and we love unconditionally – all because of Jesus.

I won’t get into the debate of whether or not December 25 is Christ’s actual human birthdate, because for me, it doesn’t make any difference. Long ago it was determined that this is the date that we will commemorate His arrival and I don’t have any argument with that. Believers around the world celebrate this date as the birth of Jesus and it is the biggest birthday celebration ever! What makes it so exciting is that even non-believers will be celebrating without even realizing that they are paying homage to the King of Kings. They join in the merriment with gift giving and party-going and family celebrations without ever giving a thought to why or what they are celebrating. That also makes no difference to me. The more, the merrier!

In the midst of all of my decorating and shopping and cookie-baking and present-wrapping and merry-making I am keenly aware of the troubles in the world around us. There will always be troubles until the Lord returns and I focus on praying for those affected rather than on letting the troubles dampen my mood. Today, however, I found myself grieved over a situation and no amount of cookie-baking was going to help.

There have always been and will always be people in the world who are hateful and hurtful to those who are having a good time. Whether they are jealous or simply mean-spirited, I do not know but it can stretch my ability to love my neighbor in entirely new directions.

During this season the enemy is using individuals who profess to be educated and take great pride and pleasure in sharing their knowledge and experiences with others, using social media as their outlet, denigrating the beliefs of Christians around the world and blatantly denouncing our right to celebrate the holiday as we choose. They know best, according to the words they are spouting, and the manner in which they talk down to those who disagree reminds me of many encounters with liberals down through the years. Mind you, they celebrate the holiday season. They don’t have a problem with that. They just have a problem with Christians celebrating Jesus. They cannot abide our spiritual celebration and rebut any Holy Scripture reference with anger and venom.

Let me encourage you in the Lord to set aside the natural reaction to engage such people in verbal combat and instead, let a soft answer turn away wrath. Let the love the Christ permeate your being to such a degree that such people are drawn into your circle of light. During this season, let’s join together to love our neighbors with the same love that Christ love’s us. Remember – even when we were at our most vile, He loved us and called us to Himself. Perhaps this season, He is calling them, too!

Merry Christmas!